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On July 20, 1978, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia granted the Commission's motion for summary judgment in this case. The FEC had filed suit against the National Education Association (NEA), its separate segregated fund (NEA-PAC) and eighteen of its state affiliates seeking to enjoin them from collecting political contributions by means of a "reverse checkoff" procedure. Under this procedure, a political contribution is automatically deducted from a member's salary along with his/her dues payment. The contribution is subsequently refundable upon written request by the member.

In addition to granting summary judgment, the court issued the following orders:

  • Defendants are permanently enjoined from using the reverse check-off procedure to collect political contributions to NEA-PAC.
  • Defendants, in consultation with the Commission, must prepare a plan by which its members will be informed of the suit and the decision of the court. In addition, the plan must provide a method by which the members are afforded an opportunity to obtain, at no expense to them and with minimal effort, a refund of any monies deducted from the paychecks through the reverse check-off. The plan must be presented to the court by August 25, 1978.
  • Defendants' counterclaim against the Commission was dismissed.

On November 2, 1978, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the NEA to obtain written affirmation from participants in the reverse check-off programs of their intent to make a political contribution to its separate segregated fund, NEA-PAC. The court set April 1, 1979, as the deadline for obtaining each member's written consent to the contributions they had made through the reverse check-off procedure. NEA was further required to return funds to individuals who do not submit the affirmation.

Source:   FEC RecordJanuary 1979; September 1978. FEC v. National Education Association, 457 F. Supp. 1102 (D.D.C. 1978).